Recently, I made a list of things that made me happy. Ten things were on the list. It was fun to make and not very difficult. After I had completed the list, I read it and re-read it, thinking it somewhat complete. I was pleased with my list. Then, I sent the list to the friend who asked me to make it in the the first place.

Later, I looked at my list again.

Here is what was on it:

The ocean

Moving my body

Cooking with my family

Old friends

Going to the movies

Following through on things

Clean sheets

Learning new things

Chocolate desserts

Feet on the dashboard watching the world go by

I re-read the list again, one more time. I felt something begin to wash over me. Guilt? Maybe that is it. Maybe it is guilt(?) that is setting in. That list was supposed to be about things that make me happy, right? There were glaring omissions from my list. Slightly glaring omissions. Guilt inducing omissions. 

I forgot to mention my husband and children.

I forgot to mention them.

What does that say?

What does that say about them?

What does that say about me?

You know, for maybe a minute, I thought about feeling guilty. And I thought about obsessing over it. And then I thought, Ellen, you might be silly. And then I thought that maybe, just maybe that the vital lifeblood in my daily routine might not make me happy. They might also not me sad. They might just be so much a part of my world , that they make me joyfully ME.

And my guilt stops there.

4 Responses to “list”

  1. August 27, 2009 at 5:03 am

    good. no guilt needed. it does not say anything other than you love life and that is a blessing to davy and to ben & summer. no guilt. thinking good. guilt bad.
    love you – eb

  2. August 27, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Well maybe when you thought that the ocean made you happy, perhaps you were thinking about all the great times you and YOUR FAMILY have had at the beach. You also mentioned cooking with FAMILY. And I’m sure when your feet are up on that dashboard watching the world go by, that Davy is in the driver’s seat and your kids are in the back seat! Unless you drive with one foot and put the other leg up on the dash! LOL

  3. 3 Kristyn
    August 29, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    I think it’s that family is an understood liking…so it’s like you don’t even have to put it on the list! 🙂

  4. September 2, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    I think it’s the perfect example of how we take the things that are closest to us for granted. I mean, when are you on your best manners? In front of your family or strangers? I’d bet the answer is strangers. What are we saving our good manners for strangers for?

    It’s not a judgement, rather a glimpse into how we operate. We are at our worst with those that we love the most. Likely, we are also at our best with the very same people.

    None of your top 10 things were an emotion. Rather they were things that evoke an emotion. Therefore, if family is love and love is an emotion–your top 10 list evokes an emotion which IS your family.

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